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Floor Cleaning FAQ

Floor Cleaning Resources: Questions, Tips, and Tricks

1: General Website Purchasing Information

Purchasing equipment from our web site is easy- Our process starts with a phone call so that you can discuss your options with Steve Baker, our general manager. He handles all of the web site sales. After Steve finds out what sort of machine you are interested in he will draft a quote for that floor scrubber, sweeper, burnisher, whatever it is you are interested in and e-mail or fax it to you. After that, the choice is yours to make but you will have everything you need to make an informed decision.

For Factory Direct sales- our shopping cart is simple and streamlined, you will be prompted to create an account with your first purchase which is as easy as entering your e-mail address and creating a password. After that, you may use the same login for all subsequent purchases through our site.

We want our web site to act as a catalogue, a place a person can go for detailed information and photographs on the best equipment available in the industry. Oftentimes if you do not see something specific that you are looking for, if you give us a call we can see about sourcing it for you.

2: What is the Difference between Cylindrical and Disk Scrubbing?
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Disk Scrubbing: Disk scrubbers wash, or strip wax from the floor. Disk machines offer easy to change, variably aggressive, pads or brushes. These features make scrubbers ideal for retail applications where pads are not only inexpensive, but offer a great deal of surface contact for scuff mark control and floor shine. When pads are coated with the stripped wax, they can be conveniently thrown away.

For industrial applications, disk brushes accept greater down pressure than cylindrical brooms, and heavily soiled floors benefit from heavy down pressure. Up to 250 lbs of downpressure can be applied to disc brush bristles and they will not deflect. For this reason, you see them on machines that offer great down pressure such as the Advance combustion engine cleaning machines. You will note, these combination machines still include separate dry sweeper brooms to collect the solid debris.

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Cylindrical Scrubbing: A cylindrical scrub brush system will (wet) sweep small amounts of solid debris into a removable tray while also washing the floor. You eliminate the manual pre sweeping of your factory or warehouse floor for greater productivity and fewer clogs in the squeegee section of the scrubber. Plus there is often no need for an additional separate sweeper or even a combination machine when a cylindrical machine will do the job.

Cylindrical scrubbers usually turn their brushes at a speed that is three times the rotation of a disk brush. This will often offset the greater surface area advantage that disk scrub decks offer. Cylindrical scrub brushes do keep less bristle surface in contact with the floor, but the these revolving line of bristles will rotate on the floor with three times the rotation frequency of disk brush bristles.

Which is better?
I give both versions a good rating on cleaning performance. Both will clean your floor!

Pro Disk: Disk scrub brushes have the advantage on the issue of lower initial cost and simplicity of maintenance. A disk brush will last longer and a replacement brush usually will cost less.

Cylindrical decks (as an option) will typically increase your scrubber cost by $500 to $1000.

Plus you really need to add side brooms to cylindrical systems to steer the debris into the path of the of the scrub deck and out of the outer edges of the squeegee.

Pro Cylindrical: Cylindrical scrub decks eliminate the need to pre sweep your floor and may save the expense of true combination sweeper/scrubber machines or separate dry sweepers.

3: What do I do if my floor has expansion cuts that collect debris?

Oftentimes when scrubbing a floor that has expansion cuts- the vacuum hose will become clogged with the debris that has been caught in these spaces. This is a typical problem on floors that have open expansion joints. There are only a few solutions to this issue which I have considered.

One is to fill the joints with grout, however this obvious solution is usually considered not practical due to either the financial cost, or other logistical considerations.

The second is to dry vacuum the joints in advance of scrubbing. This would seem to be a bit impractical and time consuming, so it is not a likely solution.

The easiest approach is to continue to operate the machine in a fairly routine manner until this small debris is removed by the suction of the squeegee hose. This may take multiple passes and involve a few short term headaches for the operator. (clearing the hose, etc) Any new debris that would normally hit the smooth floor surface and then eventually fall into these cracks should be captured by the sweeping action of the cylindrical deck and removed without settling into the joints. You will however need to continue to maintain the floors routinely to order for this to be successful. There should be fewer clogged up hoses long term.

Not that this advice is novel, but I can tell you that your situation is not uncommon and that it gets better.

4: What is the difference between traction drive and brush drive?

The brush drive system is used to propel a disk style scrubber forward when the scrub brushes are rotating on the floor. By tilting the brush deck forward, one or two inwardly rotating brushes grab the floor with greater friction on the leading edge. Since the two brushes oppose each other in their rotation, they tend to counter balance each others left and right spin and pull the machine forward while scrubbing. A single disk scrubber tilts in such a way that the machine "somewhat" goes forward. Of course when you are not scrubbing there will be no effect, and the machine relies on the operator for propulsion.

The price for a traction drive is greater because a typical scrubber will have an electric motor turning a differential which drives two pneumatic wheels positioned in tandem between a single axle (which projects left and right from the differential assembly). An operator controlled rheostat is required to regulate the motor speed and a actuator button on the handle starts and stops transport. All electronics are wired through a central controller card to tie in all the functions. To cover these costs, you can expect a difference in price of at least $1000 to $1500 on most small scrubbers.

All cylindrical scrub decks have transport drive provided by a motor as described above.

5: Take caution when using a high foaming soap in your machine!

Soaps such as Simple Green are known to be a high foaming detergent. I would use caution because the foam can bypass floatation devices designed to restrict the recovery water from entering into the vacuum motor. Foam can carry both dirt and moisture with the air flow. Most vacuum motors are replaced due to the effects of dirt and moisture or from water splashing up from quick turns when the recovery tank is almost full.

Preventative Measures:
Dilute the Simple Green to low levels to reduce its foaming capability.
Empty the recovery tank frequently to create more space between the top of the water level and the entrance to the vacuum motor.
Use a de-foaming agent - It is available from us or other suppliers. You can also purchase "Downey" water softener and put a cap full in the recovery tank to kill the foam. I understand that toilet "cakes" will do the same.
Or purchase a low foaming cleaning solution.

6: The importance of GREEN cleaning!

We all know that as humans we have a large impact upon our planet. We produce a large amount of waste which is the whole reason we require cleaning machines in the first place. In an effort to address the increasing amount of pollutants and harmful chemicals that can end up back in our environment, many cleaning equipment manufacturers are developing more 'Green' ways to clean, including special chemicals and low-water usage systems. Needless to say, cleaning green in highly important to both us and our planet, and Caliber will be happy to help you find the perfect environmentally sensitive machine for your application!

Green Cleaning Measures:
Clarke's BOOST Floor Scrubbers feature a cleaning deck which eliminates the need of stripping chemicals.
IPC Eagle's ECS machines is a whole line of Green equipment which reduce water and chemical consumption anywhere from 80%-90% when compared to traditional scrubbers.
Nilfisk Advance strives to include green cleaning standards in all of their equipment, and most of their commercial sized floor scrubbers meet the leading certification standards such as the 'CRI Seal of Approval', 'GS-42', 'NFSI', and earn points towards the 'LEED Green Building Rating Standard'.

7: Should I purchase a new or used floor scrubber for my facility?

The decision to purchase either a new or used floor scrubber really comes down to cost. Advantages of purchasing new include a factory warranty and ensured parts availability for at least the next decade to come- but purchasing used provides a much lower price point machine with oftentimes the same life span as a brand new machine. At Caliber we offer many incentives to purchase a used scrubber or sweeper including:

Advantages to Purchasing a Refurbished Used Scrubber or Sweeper:
Used Machine 2 month Parts & Labor Warranty: Caliber will cover parts & labor for 60 days after your machine purchase!
We will refurbish your current in-use machine: It could be that your current machine just needs a make-over, so we offer a service to refurbish your current machine for you- and in the interim we can offer you a low-cost rental unit to tide you over until your machine's refurbishment is complete.
Special Value Priced Demo & Factory Restored Equipment This is a great middle ground category to shop for. Our special value machines are like brand new and oftentimes include some or all of their factory warranty. Typically these machines are our demo and showroom models, or machines purchased at a discount direct from the factory. Special Value machines will definitely bring you the most bang for your buck

8: How to polish your cement floors using the Lithium polishing agent and diamond buffer pads.

Caliber Equipment is proud to present the Lithium Floor Restoration Cleaning Process.

You will not believe how effective and easy achieving that shine will be. By utilizing this process your previously finished or polished floors will gain that same wet glossy shine that you see pictured above. Your floors will not just look amazing, but this process will also protect against stains, scuffs, and general surface wear.

This process works because the lithium product is not a topical wax or gloss- it literally becomes one with your existing cement floors. The product seeps into the tiny pores that are already present in the cement and bonds chemically with it. Once the lithium product binds and hardens and is buffed that shine is brought to the surface. That shine is actually the new natural look of your floors, your floor has literally been transformed. Also, because the lithium product has bonded with your floors instead of being applied as a second layer like many other floor chemicals you will have long-lasting results that are easier to maintain.
First Step:
-Clean your floors of any surface dirt or grime as well as make sure any existing sacrificial coating that may have been put on comes off.

Second Step:
-Apply the lithium floor product to your floors then use a high-speed propane burnisher and our diamond pads on the surface- this is the step that produces that amazing shine that you see above! You can rinse and repeat as you wish in order to achieve your desired gloss- after about 3 coats your floors will be dazzling!

-Maintenance is super simple: Just use the same diamond grit pads and high speed burnisher to buff out any scuffs or marks and bring back that luster as you see fit.
What's even more impressive about this product is that the Lithium floor chemical is completely green & environmentally friendly. That means you don't need to worry about apply a harmful chemical to your floors. Also, this product meets the standards for slip resistance set by CSMA.

Interested yet? Call us at (888) 550-0945 for more information! We can supply you with everything you need in order to get your floors looking great!

9: Machine leasing details & disclosure

Caliber Equipment, Inc. in partnership with are happy to offer financing on select machines available on our website!

Please Note: Pricing for machines is subject to review and approval by Caliber Equipment before any deal if finalized.

If you are interested in financing you can view our credit application here: Caliber Equipment Machine Financing Application

Feel free to contact us for more information at 888-550-0945

10: Legal Forms: W-9

W-9: Download HERE.

11: Return Policy

Factory Direct New Equipment: Unused unopened brand new equipment shipped from the factory can be returned or exchanged within 1 week of delivery. Brand new equipment that has been opened and used can not be returned. Please call Caliber at 888-550-0945 before returning your equipment to us. All returned new equipment is subject to a 15% restocking fee.

In all cases shipping costs are non-refundable and return shipping costs are the responsibility of the purchaser, Caliber is happy to help arrange shipping on your behalf and forward the bill onto you.

If there is a defect with your equipment please contact Caliber and we will get in touch with the factory.

Refurbished Used & Special Value Equipment: All refurbished and special value equipment sales are final. Our refurbished used machines come with a 60 days parts and labor warranty through Caliber Equipment. Special Value equipment are machines that retain some original factory warranty, if your special value machine did not come with remaining factory warranty it will be covered under Caliber's 60 days parts and labor warranty.

All returns and exchanges are handled on a case by case basis.

In all cases shipping costs are non-refundable and return shipping costs are the responsibility of the purchaser, Caliber is happy to arrange shipping on your behalf and forward the bill onto you.

Parts, Pads, Brushes and Squeegees: Parts ordered through our website, over the phone, or over email correspondance can be returned within 2 weeks of receipt. You must contact us at prior to returning parts to request a return authorization.

All parts must returned as originally shipped, meaning UNOPENED, UNINSTALLED, and in brand new condition.

All parts will be inspected upon receipt, returns will be processed once it is ensured the part is in the appropriate condition.

A 25% restocking fee applies to all returned parts, and return shipping costs are the responsibility of the buyer.

12: Shipping Policy

Factory Direct New Equipment: Caliber Equipment will place your order with our vendor within 1-2 business days, but all orders that ship straight from our vendors are subject to the vendor's wait times and shipping policies. Most items are in stock with our vendor at the time of purchase, if they are backordered we will notify you via phone or e-mail.

Please allow 1-2 weeks to receive your item from our vendor. If you need an order expedited please contact us and we will see what can be done.

Refurbished Used Equipment: Equipment sold as Refurbished Used is refurbished to order, meaning these machines will be restored for you upon your placing an order. Please allow 3-4 weeks for these machines to ship out.

We do our best to ship our refurbished machines in a timely manner, but delays from the factory including available parts and components can delay the restoration of a machine. Because of this, no ship time is guaranteed, but we will be in contact with you if it appears that your machine restoration will be delayed. We ask for you to notify us at 888-550-0945 if you are working with a deadline.

13: Free Shipping

Free Shipping within the continental USA: Caliber is happy to offer free shipping for applicable machines to customers who are located within the 48 states of the continental USA!

Our machines are shipped via a pallet and truck which does not have a lift gate. In order to qualify for free shipping you must be able to receive the equipment as prepared. It is assumed that your delivery address is a commercial address and is equipped with the appropriate facilities to receive the equipment, including but not limited to a fork lift, loading dock, etc.

If your delivery address is not a commercial address, does not have a forklift or loading dock, requires a lift gate truck, or is otherwise unequipped or requests special circumstances to receive the delivery, Caliber reserves the right to charge for the extra services required to sucessfully complete delivery.

All delivery details will be verified by Caliber before fulfillment of your order.

Remote Locations: In the case of extremely remote locations our shipping carriers charge extra for delivery. These remote location upcharges are not covered by our free shipping policy. If your delivery address is considered remote Caliber reserves the right to pass on the additional shipping cost to the customer.

International Orders, Hawaii & Alaska: In all cases free shipping does not apply to international orders or those located outside the continental 48 states but a discount towards those shipping charges might be available so please inquire if you need your equipment shipped outside the continental USA.

Returned or Non-Deliverable Equipment: In the case that a machine is returned to us as non-deliverable, or in the case of a return for a refund, the original shipping charges of which were considered "free" will no longer be considered such and Caliber reserves the right to charge the customer for those original charges or deduct them from any potential refunds.

14: How To Winterize Your Scrubber

Floor Scrubbers can freeze when the temperature drops belowe freezing!

Because floor scrubbers utilize water, machines should be kept above freezing to prevent damage to important components such as hoses, solenoids, tanks, etc..

Winterizing equipment is easy. After dumping all water from your machine, pour a generous amount of antifreeze (we recommend poly glycol which is used in RVs) and then run your scrubber to spread the antifreeze through the machine. This will protect the solution lines, the solenoid, and the solution filter from expansion when frozen and cracking fixtures.